Empowering the Freelance Economy

The embarrassing work syndrome on the rise

Image source: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels
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Being your own boss as a freelancer comes with perks, but it also means you might find yourself glued to your chair for long stretches. This can lead to gluteal amnesia. In layman’s terms this is “dead butt syndrome.” Don’t let the funny name fool you – it can cause genuine pain and discomfort.

What is Dead Butt Syndrome?

Dead butt syndrome happens when your glutes, or butt muscles, become inactive from prolonged sitting. This weakens them and makes them forget how to do their job – stabilising your pelvis and keeping your body aligned.

Signs to Watch Out For:

Numbness in your glutes (anyone who has done a Zoom call marathon can relate)

  • Pain that starts in your lower back or bottom and travels down your leg
  • Calf pain
  • Weakness in your glutes and hip flexors
  • Lower back and knee pain
  • Difficulty standing up because if pins and needles

Fight “dead butt” with these simple tips

The fastest way to prevent dead butt at your desk is by breaking up long periods of sitting. Sounds easy enough but when we get into our workflow or fit in just one more Teams meeting or email, getting unglued to our chair doesn’t always happen as much as it should.

Set a timer: This will remind you to get up and move around every hour. Even a few minutes of walking or stretching can make a big difference.

Make a cup of coffee or tea and while things are boiling or brewing do a few squats in the kitchen. See how many squats you can do until the water boils. Or keep a kettlebell in the kitchen and do some lifts every time you take a snack or drink break.

Put power back into your posture: Maintain an upright posture while you work. This opens your hip flexors and takes the pressure off your glutes.

Setting up an area to do daily exercises like squats can improve your circulation and muscle strength to avoid pain and discomfort

Quick exercises, big benefits: Add some simple exercises to your day to strengthen your glutes and hips. Here are a few ideas courtesy of fitness experts at Mirafit.co.uk:

Banded Squats: Add a resistance band around your knees for an extra challenge.

Monster Walk: Loop a band around your ankles and take small, controlled steps sideways.

Frog Glute Bridges: Lie on your back with feet flat and knees bent outwards. Lift your hips off the ground while keeping your knees wide.

Side Plank with Leg Raise: Get into a side plank and raise and lower your top leg.

Drop Lunge: Step back with one leg and bend both knees. Keep your upper body upright and push off the front foot to return to standing.

Deadbug: Lie on your back with arms and legs extended. Slowly lower one arm and the opposite leg, then return to the starting position and switch sides.

If you suspect dead butt syndrome, get moving. If things persist, consider consulting a doctor or physiotherapist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

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